Superior Fall Trail Race 2018 Volunteer Email 5 – Markers and Sweepers Only

Date: Saturday August 25, 2018
Subject: Superior Fall Trail Race 2018 Volunteer Email 5 – Markers and Sweepers Only

​Hi All,

Thank you for helping with “Marking and Sweeping” for the 2018 Superior Fall Trail Race Thursday Sept 6 (Marking) and Friday Sept 7 / Saturday Sept 8 (Sweeping)! We cannot thank you enough for the selfless giving of your time. I know this is a long email, but please take the time to read it and print and review the attachments! Please get in touch with any questions or if you see something that does not work for you.

I have CC’d everyone on this msg vs my usual BCC, so if you need to reply and say something to the group (essential communication only please so we do not fill up peoples inboxes unnecessarily) please hit REPLY ALL – if you need to reply to me only, please hit REPLY.

We are excited to have such an outstanding Marking and Sweeping crew again for this years race! You should have received my general emails to all volunteers already, but if not, they can be found HERE

Just about all of you are return marking and / or sweeping volunteers and those that are not will get paired up with people who have experience to learn the trade! Matt Long and Paul Hasse (the sweeping coordinators) may (or may not) be in touch with the sweepers regarding some more specifics for the sweeping portion (or feel free to email them with questions). As far as race weekend coordination goes, if ever on race weekend you are unsure of what to do or where to be when, at a minimum get to your sweep location about 45 minutes before the cutoff and you will be back on track!

For marking we will meet on Thursday Sept 6th at 6:30 AM at Caribou Highlands Townhome (Lutsen) Unit #504 – HERE is a diagram of the property though for a general idea of where you will be going you are welcome and encouraged to come on Wednesday afternoon / evening and stay.

TIME SENSITIVE: Volunteer Lodging (If Needed, Please Sign Up Via Link Below): We have some communal type lodging available at the Finish / Caribou Highlands for those that need it. Complete details about this lodging can be found HERE If after reading you decide you need a place to stay at any point during the weekend we ask that you please follow this link and indicate to us when / signup HERE – if you need lodging please indicate this to us AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! I will send out room assignments late next week.

ACTION ITEM: Once again John Pitera and Kathrine Patterson will be cooking dinner on Wednesday night in Townhome Unit 504 for anyone that is around / wants to eat – lets plan on around 7PM, PLEASE LET ME KNOW VIA THE FOLLOWING SIGN UP FORM IF YOU PLAN TO JOIN SO WE KNOW HOW MANY TO PLAN FOR! The 3M Dream Team, will grab pies again! Sign up / let me know HERE

For marking, make sure that you have something to carry water in, preferably a pack of some kind since you will be carrying ​and placing ​flags​ and will want both hands free​. Bring the normal nutrition items you would bring when doing a run and we will also provide some sandwiches, chips and a cookie for you to bring out on the trail (kindly donated by the Delta Diner in Delta WI) and some vegetarian sandwiches that we will make. We will have a quick briefing before we leave regarding marking protocol, do’s and dont’s etc. and maybe a quick demonstration. I have also attached a .PDF explaining the fundamentals of our marking system – please take a few minutes to look it over.

For sweeping, your assignments have been made. Matt Long will be coordinating the sweep on Friday / up through the cutoff at Finland (Sat 2:00AM) and new this year, Paul Hasse will take over these “foreman” type duties on Saturday sending the sweeps out of Finland after the start of the 50 mile race at 5:15AM. As always, the function of the “sweep” is three-fold, pick up our flagging material and signage, picking up any garbage dropped by runners (a plastic grocery store bag or Zip-Lock works great) and most importantly, look for any runners who may be in trouble on the trail. Matt Long and Paul Hasse with help from Don Clark (and possibly Todd Rowe and Bill Sikorski as well) will personally handle the enforcement of the cutoffs – this is a tough job that nobody envies and requires the right touch. IMPORTANT, we need to get the race number (write down or take a picture) of any runners bib that is DNF’ing and get this info reported to the HAM Radio Operators ASAP – please keep notes as well and be prepared to turn over to me later on Saturday in the event that we are looking for unaccounted runners!

As always emergencies and communications should be routed through the HAM Radio Operators, they are at all the aid stations but can also be reached by calling Caribou Highlands (800) 642-6036 Room#106, this is the HAM Radio NET Control, from there they can attempt to reach / notify just about anybody of anything via radios, phone, cell etc. – if you are on the trail and need to attempt to make a call the trick when on is in getting up high / on a ridge if possible, if you can do that you can usually get cell coverage – each group on the sweep should try to have at least one charged cell phone with them. Bill Sikorski and Todd Rowe are HAM Radio Licensed and will have radios on their sweeps. We will plan to send a few very small first aid kits with the sweeps so there is one on every sweep​ – alternatively, please feel free to pack your own.​

Finally, I have attached the marking and sweeping assignments (they will be on the website as well without personal info HERE) but the attached versions have everyone’s contact info​ (please do not share out of this group)​, which is mostly going to be important for Matt​ / Paul​ and the crew to coordinate during the sweep and in the event of emergencies – these are subject to some slight tweaks but we think these are pretty close​ – I may send out a revised doc in the coming 10 days or so if we have any significant changes.​

A quick reminder about the weekends mission. We are there to mark the trail for the runners and sweep after with safety being the over-riding theme. Superior has a national reputation as one of, if not the best marked trail races in the country – please have fun but please take the task seriously. Please remember that when on the sweep we want to cover the course slowly and methodically paying attention to our surroundings and making sure nobody is in trouble – sweeps are not out there to get their own “run in” or “workout in”. Some people may find that the amount of work we gave them is right at their limit and others may find that it is quite doable – please enjoy the weekend, enjoy the race and enjoy your fellow markers and sweepers – if feel like you don’t have enough to do its because we do not want to push anyone to their limit, we need to be sharp and strong in order to handle an emergency should it come up. If you would like to get to a sweep early or stay later you are welcomed and encouraged to ask the aid station captains if you can chip in somehow, that is what makes this race great!

Please reach out and coordinate with one and other, COMMUNICATION before, during and after the race – that is how this ​all ​works best! If you have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to ask. We are looking forward to another great year on the SHT! You guys are awesome and I feel blessed to get to work with you on this race / this awesome project!

Finally, for fun / nostalgia HERE are some past photos of our crew, please have a look – I can honestly say that some of my very best memories over the past decade have come out of our Wednesday dinner and Thursday marking and the time spent with you all, with the race getting bigger and more complex I really have missed the opportunity to get out and mark an entire section on Thursday. FYI, I am on the lookout for photos from 2007 and 2011 should anyone have either of those. Lets make sure to get a picture this year!

Thank You,

John Storkamp
Race Director
[email protected]